Historic Old Town

Old Town/History

With more than 1200 years of history the former artists' colony Dachau offers an attractive variety of sights to visit, such as the Dachau Art Gallery or the former Wittelsbach summer residence Dachau palace with an unrivaled view towards Munich and the German Alps.

Photo of Klostersraße looking at Wittman book store. Photo: City of Dachau
Klosterstraße Dachau, Picture: City of Dachau, Florian Göttler

Be surprised and delighted by Dachau's historic domestic architecture, Dachau Palace (the summer residence of the Wittelsbach family) and its court garden, the Stadtpfarrkirche (parish church) of St. Jakob, Dachau's abundant museums and art galleries, excellent views of the provincial capital of Munich and much, much more.

To round off your trip there are lots of opportunities to shop, attend cultural events or sample the regional and international gastronomy. There is something to suit all tastes from traditional Bavarian beer garden or tavern (gasthaus) fare to Italian, Greek, Indian or Styrian restaurants.

We will gladly arrange a guided walking tour of the old town, the Palace, the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site or organise a special tour or maybe a tour in historical costume.

St. Jakob Parish Church

St. Jakob Parish Church
St. Jakob Parish Church, Photo: City of Dachau

The parish church of St. Jakob dominates the Old Town of Dachau with its 44-meter octagonal tower and can be seen from afar. The church was built in 1624/25 in the late Renaissance style. It was built on the site of a smaller late gothic church, of which only the sacristy and the square basement of the church tower remain. The baroque tower was erected 1676-78.

The choir was built under the direction of the master builder of the Munich court, Friedrich Sustris, with the nave done according to the plans of Hans Krumpper. An extension was added on in 1926.

Decorating the south side of the building, an impressive 18th century sun-dial not only shows the time of day, but also the month and zodiac as well.

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City Hall

The city hall, situated in the heart of the old town, is the seat of the city administration.

The original city hall, first mentioned in 1486, was rebuilt in the years 1614/15.

Three hundred years later this building was so dilapidated that it had to be torn down in 1934 and replaced.

The rapid growth of the city after the war made it necessary to build a larger city hall.

Rathaus Dachau
Alter Sitzungssaal Rathaus Dachau
Foyer Rathaus Dachau
Trauzimmer im Rathaus Dachau

A modern annex was built in 1976, connecting the city hall of 1934 and the nearby former Confectioners’ House, which had been in the possession of confectioners and candle-makers since the sixteenth century. The new building - awarded a prize by the Association of German Architects - was designed by Prof. Dr. Werner Fauser with works of stone art sculpted by Reinhold Grübl.

In the passageway through to the terraces behind the city hall, which offer a fine view of the city, there are two commemorative plaques for Dachau’s Jewish victims of the Holocaust, as well as works by Dachau sculptors.

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City Hall Fountain

Rathausbrunnen

Taschner-Brunnen /
König-Ludwig-Brunnen

Ignaz Taschner designed this fountain for the market of Dachau in 1910. This masterpiece, also known as the Taschner Fountain or the King Ludwig Fountain, is made of red marble from Ruhpolding and was built in 1919.

The column in the middle is decorated with figures of peasants wearing traditional Dachau costumes.

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Toll House at Karlsberg

Small toll house, where in former times and up to the year 1926 marketeers and and tradesmen had to pay toll to enter the market town Dachau.

Market Gates

From 1390 to 1891 three bulky gates secured the entrance to the market town Dachau. Today bronze replicas at the original location display where they once bordered the market.

District Museum of Dachau

bäuerlicher Festtagstrachten
Bezirksmusuem Dachau
Bezirksmuseum Dachau

The District Museum, which was awarded the Bavarian Museum Award in 1993, reflects the cultural of the town of Dachau and the county surrounding it.

On three floors numerous impressive exhibits illustrate settlement forms and town history. Guild and market law, crafts and trade, everday life and festive traditions are portrayed as well as religious folklore and much more.  

Frequent special exhibitions highlight various aspects of cultural history.

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Ludwig Thoma / Rauffer House

Ludwig Thoma had his legal practice in the so-called Rauffer House in Dachau from October 1894 to May 1897.

Gottesacker Chapel

This chapel, like the parish church St. Jakob before it, was designed by Hans Krumpper and built 1627/28.

The octagonol structure is unusual. It was renovated in the years 1992-1995. A memorial in the chapel commemorates Dachau's soldiers who died in the two World Wars.

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Dachau Water Tower

Dachauer Wasserturm

The Dachau Water Tower provided the town with water from 1910 till 1969.

It was nearly forgotten and in danger of falling apart until it was extensively restored in 1998.

Through the work of the "Dachau Water Tower Promotion Society" (Forderverein Dachauer Wasserturm), it became the site of cultural events, such as exhibitions, author readings and concerts.

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Zieglerbräu

The Zieglerbräu restaurant was first mentioned in 1608. The present-day building was built in 1766.

The restaurant had its heyday under brewery owner Eduard Ziegler, with many artists and writers as regular guests, such as Wilhelm Leibl, Ignatius Taschner and Ludwig Thoma, after whom one section of the restaurant is named.

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Hörhammerbräu

Hörhammerbräu

The history of the Hörhammerbräu goes back to the year 1569.

The "Max-Joseph-Room" recalls the first "name-day" celebration of Bavaria's king in 1806.

Before World War II, the former restaurant was famous for its wild artists' parties.

The beautifully designed facade with its ornate plastering from the 18th and 19th centuries contributes to the whole historic impression of the Old Town.

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St.-Florian’s-Fountain

St. Florians Brunnen

This fountain was crafted from shell limestone in 1954 by Wilhelm Neuhäuser and serves as a reminder of the early catastrophic blazes, from which the market town of Dachau was not spared. The fountain depicts St. Florian, the saint for protection from fire, pouring water from a bucket over burning houses.

Since there were few fountains in the old town center, fires had to be extinguished by building a chain of people passing along buckets of water. From about the middle of the 17th century, everyone had to have a bucket ready in case of fire.

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